Essay: Genre as a critical tool

Homework: Essay

The genre of a film, like romantic, horror or comedy, is a critical tool for the story. Every genre has typical narratives, for example comedy films are funny and horror films are scary, so the theme of a comedy film can be a funny situation and a theme of a horror film can be a zombie apocalypse. There are also typical iconography, in romantic movies is that often a flower, and typical settings, for example a creepy old dark house for a horror film. You can also look for typical characters, which are in romantic films often a boy who is in love with a girl who is in love with an asshole.
In the following I will give three examples, which all have the genre romantic, and how the just mentioned typical areas apply to them.
The first romantic film, in which those typical areas are used, is “Letters to Julia”. The narrative elements, or themes are love and heartbreak. The characters are a woman, who is engaged with the wrong man and another man who is in love with the woman. An Iconography in this film is an old wall with letters in it, and the Connotation of this is love, heartbreak, pain and history, because is the wall of Romeo and Juliet and the letters in it are from people who are unlucky in love. The settings are old Italian villages and idyllic landscape and there are no special effects used. People probably watch this movie to be entertained and escaped from their daily troubles and by watching it they feel full of love, happy, in good mood and in some scenes maybe a bit sad.
Another example for these typical system is “Something borrowed”. It is about love, friendship and broken friendship, a bit comedy and heartbreak. It is filmed in New York, so the settings are dirty streets, American bars, and urban apartments, and here are no special effect used as well. A woman in love with a with the wrong woman engaged men are the characters. In this film you can see the use of a suit next to the door as an Iconography, because it symbolizes the ruination of a friendship and a broken heart. People who watch this feel will feel entertained, maybe a bit disappointed and sad, but they might also have fun. Reasons why they watch it can be the identification with the situation or that they just want to be entertained.
The last example, “Safe Heaven”, is about love, drama and heartbreak. The characters are a woman and a man slowly falling in love, a crazy ex-boyfriend of the woman and the dead wife of the man who is in the subconscious imagination of the woman. There are also flashbacks in the past of the alive woman and special effects used to set a house on fire. An Iconography which is used in this film is bike which stands for the love and care from the man for the woman, and that she doesn’t want it first should show that she doesn’t trust anybody anymore and that she wants to be independent and doesn’t want to owe something to someone. The settings are idyllic seas and wood. People probably watch this movie to be entertained and to cry, because you feel really sad when you watch it, but you are also really excited because you want to know what happened in the woman’s past and what will happen next.
These typical areas also apply to many other romantic films.

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